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Climber missing in 'extremely bad' weather in Pakistan 

Tom Ballard has been reported missing as he attempted to scale the world's ninth-highest peak.

Tom Ballard: Local guides searching for missing climber.
Tom Ballard: Local guides searching for missing climber. Tom Ballard

An experienced climber has gone missing on a mountain in Pakistan.

Tom Ballard, who grew up in the shadow of Ben Nevis, was attempting to scale Nanga Parbat with Italian climber Daniele Nardi when they lost contact with their base camp.

Weather conditions on the peak - the world's ninth highest mountain - are said to have been "extremely bad" over the past five days, although conditions improved slightly on Wednesday.

Efforts to locate the two men have been hampered by the ongoing situation between Pakistan and India.

Local mountaineering instructor Muhammad Tahir said military assets that could have been used in the search have been diverted elsewhere.

In a Facebook post, he wrote: "Bad news emanating from Nanga Parbat where we have lost all contact with Daniele Nardi (ITL) and Tom Ballard (GB) for quite some time.

"(Fellow instructor) Muhammad Ali Sadpara has the last contact with them and the Base Camp was established on February 22 while both were coming down from Camp 4 to Camp 3 (6300m).

"Since then there has been no communication whatsoever with both the climbers. There is no movement on the slopes as the support staff at Base Camp is looking for them using binoculars."

Mr Tahir added: "Given the circumstances of extremely serious clashes going on the Line of Control (LoC) between Pakistan and India at the moment, military assets aren't readily available at the moment to help in this rescue."

Nanga Parbat is situated in the south-west of Pakistan. With a summit 8126m above sea level, the mountain is known for being a challenging and dangerous climb, earning it the nickname "killer mountain".

The climbers were ascending the notoriously difficult "Mummery Rib" when they went missing.

Mr Ballard, 30, is a highly experienced climber who is the first person ever to successfully solo climb all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter season.

He is the son of famous climber Alison Hargreaves, who died near the peak of K2 in 1995.

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